Ronnie Lippin, publicist, dies at 59

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Manager and publicist Ronnie Lippin, president of the marketing and public relations firm the Lippin Group, died Monday at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles after a long battle with a rare form of breast cancer. She was 59.

Lippin was partnered in her company with her husband, Dick Lippin, who is chairman and chief executive.

During her three-decade career, Lippin worked with some of the most prominent names in the music business. She co-managed Brian Wilson (with Jean Sievers) and was a publicist for Prince, Eric Clapton, Mark Knopfler, Stephen Stills, Peter Frampton, Michael McDonald, Olivia Newton-John, the Captain & Tennille, Cliff Richard and Fourplay, among others. Other clients included the Bee Gees, Elton John, Neil Sedaka, the Who, James Taylor and Andy Gibb.

She also represented Hallmark Cards' music division, the Martin Guitar Co., NAMM (the musical instruments trade association), the Musicians' Assistance Program and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's Battle of the Corporate Bands.

Said Wilson: "Ronnie Lippin was one of the most loving, thoughtful, sensitive and caring people I've ever met. Long before she became my publicist and co-manager, we connected in a way that I knew I wanted her to be part of my career forever.

"In my career, I've worked with only a few people who I can say that I both love as a person and as a manager. Ronnie was at the top of the list. She really loved music and artists. Most importantly, she was just such a good person. God only knows why she's been taken all too soon."

Born Ronnie Friedlander, Lippin grew up in Brooklyn and entered Sarah Lawrence College at age 16. She also studied at the Sorbonne in Paris. After college, she worked at Parents magazine as a film critic and then joined the New York public relations firm of Solters & Roskin, where she worked on film and stage projects.

Following her marriage to Dick Lippin, the couple moved to California. After she headed publicity at MCA Records, Lippin joined Elton John's new label Rocket Records and went on to Robert Stigwood's RSO Records, where she worked on campaigns for the Who, the Bee Gees and others. She also led press efforts for RSO's feature film projects, including "Saturday Night Fever" and "Grease."

In 1989, Lippin joined the Lippin Group, founded by her husband in 1986. She headed the company's music efforts, overseeing artists, tours, album launches and music in film, TV and the Web. She also represented clients in variety programming, music associations and instrument manufacturing.

Among her charitable activities, Lippin served on the board of Free Arts for Abused Children, and she and her husband endowed ethics programs at Penn State University and Brandeis University as well as other children's and educational projects.

She is survived by her husband and daughter Alexandra, a senior account executive at the Lippin Group.

The Lippins plan to establish a foundation in Ronnie Lippin's name for the study of rare forms of cancer.
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